Capturing the transformation of Tampere in photography

The building process of the Tampere tramway shows up in the city as a huge, Fellini-kind of circus, and is present for several years in the lives of each citizen. The picture shows the first year's atmosphere of the construction field nearby the photographer's home. The project goes on for 4 and a half years. / Photo by Petri Nuutinen

The city of change and transformation

The face of our city is currently being lifted like never before. Part of the traditional city will disappear and make way for the new and ultra modern. The first and foremost question that this raises is whether Tampere will become the next metropolis of Finland.

The new tramway from Hervanta to Pyynikintori penetrates the city districts like a pulsating blood vessel. In addition to the traffic arrangements, new districts are being built in Tampere. Once the Deck project is finished, there will be grandiose skyscrapers and a multipurpose sports arena shimmering in the heart – the downtown – of Tampere and replacing the Hakametsä Ice Stadium. The identity of our city is changing, but which direction is it heading to?

Taltiointi ensimmäisen vuoden tunnelmasta raitiovaunun rakennustyömaalla valokuvaajan kotikulmilla / Kuvaaja Petri Nuutinen
Capturing the atmosphere of the first year of Tampere tramway construction field nearby the photographer’s home. / Photo by Petri Nuutinen


The construction of the new tramway has the appearance of a circus in the city and impacts the lives of many residents for several years. Santalahti and other similar areas will go through a transformation from a wasteland overrun by thickets and abandoned factory buildings to a new residential area. Some areas are in constant transformation, such as the Viinikka roundabout that no longer serves the purpose of a roundabout.

Tähtilampun alla / Kuvaaja Eijaa Heikkinen
Under the starlamp / Photo by Eijaa Heikkinen


At the same time, some areas are being “forgotten” and alienated, and they end up creating an alternate reality. A reality where the area is momentarily overrun by order taking random shapes. When darkness falls, the dim lights reflect a city going through an ambiguous phase and towards a metropolis that only exists in imagination. The rapid transformation is gradually causing old, location-bound significance to fade away. Do residents still have space to independently develope the urban area? What direction is the city heading to, and is “metropolis” now the city’s identity or is there a heart of a small city still beating in here?

Vanha vaihtuu uuden tieltä. Särkänniemen vanha karuselli taustanaan kohoava Ranta-Tampella (2017) / Kuvaaja Susanna Myllylä
The old moves aside for the new. The old carousel of Särkänniemi with arising Ranta-Tampella as its background. / Photo by Susanna Myllylä


All of this is being reflected on by the photographers of Tampere Dok who are reaching out for the change and transformation of Tampere from various points of view. Our website introduces the work of six photographers who document the change of Tampere from their own point of view. Areas where the change is only beginning, areas that are undergoing continuous change and areas that are cast aside by the change. At the same time, they capture the turning point of the urban identity of Tampere and use photography to contemplate the direction that our city is heading to.